Farro is my new favorite grain. If you’ve never had it, I would describe it as similar to brown rice but without ANY of the mushi- and stickiness. That is a huge plus in my book because the weak texture is what really turns me off about brown rice. Farro apparently also has higher nutritional value than brown rice and contains less arsenic. Arsenic? Yes, according to Consumer Reports arsenic can be a problem in brown rice. Well, good thing I never liked it then. :)
Farro is easy and quick to cook, you submerge it in cold water, simmer it for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on how you like it) and then drain it. Done. By itself it is, of course, extremely boring (it is a grain after all) but once you flavor it up with other stuff it becomes quite tasty. What I did here was toss the cooked farro with garlic and mushrooms, seasoned the mix with salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven under a drizzle of olive oil. I mixed some chopped marjoram in to add a fresh spring vibe and then served the dish with a roasted Cornish game hen. It was absolutely delicious and when I say that about a grain, trust me that really means something!
- 1 cup farro
- 4 ounces beech mushrooms
- 8 ounces oyster mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- a little bit of olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons fresh, chopped marjoram
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add farro and 3 cups of cold water to a saucepan.
- Bring to a low boil and cook to desired doneness (15 to 20 minutes).
- Drain the farro and set aside.
- Carefully toss the mushrooms in a bowl with the garlic and the farro.
- Spread the mix out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle evenly with the salt and the pepper.
- Drizzle a little bit of olive oil evenly over the mix, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle evenly with the marjoram and serve as a side dish with poultry.
Food Photography and Styling: I played around with my camera and a bag of raw farro one night, ended up taking the two pictures of the grain and thought they actually would look nice in a blog post. So when I photographed the dish I made sure that its photo fit in its overall style and feel with the grain photos. I stayed with brown tones and used my clay bowl that I got from Etsy years ago and set it on the same brown burlap bag that I used in the grain photos. The marjoram is an important ingredient so I made sure to draw proper attention to it by sprinkling a few leaves around the set. The light came straight from the left, as in the grain photos, and as usual I used my strobe.
For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.